Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Always Have Trouble Giving the News Title


IRAN : Killing of Iran's Scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan


Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan

Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan's car

Plot

A satellite image of a suspected uranium enrichment facility near Qom


A satellite image of a suspected uranium enrichment facility near Qom

International Atomic Energy Agency's report about Iran's nuclear weapon development

Iran's Four scientists had been killed in Iran's nuclear programme

Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega in Managua

Iranian officials on Wednesday (1/11), said the United States and Israel were behind the murder of Iranian nuclear staff. "The goal is to prevent the Islamic Republic's peaceful nuclear activities," said the semi-official from Fars news agency.

"The enemy must know they can't stop the progress of Iranian science with such terrorist acts," Rahim said as quoted by IRNA.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Ramin Mehmanparast on the same day said the killing of Iran's scientists was evidence of the continuing inhumane terrorist act by Israel with the support of certain Western countries, especially the United States.

On Thursday morning, Mehmanparast said Iran would prosecute Ahmadi-Roshan's killer through the international channels, as quoted by Xinhua.

Kazem Jalali, spokesman for the Iran's foreign relations committee of the Majlis said the Israeli and U.S. intelligence services were behind the assassination of Iran's nuclear scientists. Jalali said the past experience had showed that terrorist acts such as the murder of Ahmadi-Roshan was the work of the Zionist regime's intelligence agents and the United States.

General Assembly of Iran Ali Larijani condemned the murder of Ahmadi-Roshan as an indication of how the enemy's hatred against Iran, according to local satellite media report -- Press TV-- on Wednesday.

"It's not the first time for the arrogant countries to ratify the action of such futile," Larijani said. He added that all the enemies of Iran recognized that the action couldn't damage the determination of the Iranian nation.

Some Iranian nuclear scientist has been murdered in recent years.

In June 2011, local media reported Dariush Rezaeinejad, 35-year-old man from the department of electrical engineering at Khajeh Nasir University, Tehran, and worked for the Ministry of Defense of Iran was murdered by some motorcyclists outside his home in east Tehran.

In November 2010, Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari was killed by a bomb placed in his car on his way to work.

In January 2010, Massoud Ali-Mohammad, a nuclear scientist from the University of Tehran, killed by using remote-controlled bomb and placed in a motorcycle parked near his home.

Iran has accused Israel of killing some of its nuclear scientists, and also accused the U.S was behind the acts of terror against Iranian scientists.

The West suspects Iran's uranium enrichment may be intended to make nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charges and claims its nuclear program solely for peaceful purposes.
*****

Israeli Source: Assassination of Iranian Scientist Joint Operation by Mossad, MKO

■ See aLso : MI5 and MI6 'cleared' over torture claims

And this news, although it's not yet known its connection with the murder of Iranian scientists, but, well ..., in the deifying of food dishes at the banquet table, ---news---, do you have to gobble up all the dishes? ... Legendary Soviet spy Gevork Vartanian, who helped foil a Nazi plot to kill Allied leaders in Tehran during World War II, has died in Moscow aged 87.

Maybe yes maybe no. Despite the appearance of some dishes make you feel like you already know its taste, (though it is your first time to see the dishes), but you will not be disappointed if you choose a menu that is really your choice. In this case, the news. And this is still news about Iran. Again, Iran. Oh, poor Iran, Japan "to reduce your oil imports".

China is also implementing the same thing. No stopping at all, China only reduces the purchase by half. This month, China will only buy 285,000 barrels per day. Earlier in 2011, China bought up to 550,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day. This transaction makes China as the biggest buyer of Iranian oil, about 10 percent of overall sales.

"In February also will be the same as in January, any reduction in the purchase," said one senior seller of crude oil China who did not want his name was mentioned.

Previously, the EU has agreed to impose an embargo of Iranian oil. This is in line with the U.S. calls for new sanctions about Iran's nuclear program. Other Asian country which plans to impose oil embargo to Iran is Japan.

EU, China and Japan bought half of total exports of Iranian crude oil, about 2.6 million barrels per day. However, unlike the Japan and Western countries, the reduction of Iranian crude oil purchases by China is not related to the economic sanctions, but rather on the transaction disagreement. According to the statement of Chinese oil company Sinopec Corp, there was no agreement between the two countries about the payment period. China asked for the payment period of 90 days, while Iran insisted their oil must be paid within 60 days.

With the reduction in purchases from Iran's main partner countries, then Mahmoud Ahmadinejad government must look for other potential buyers. Iran currently has bagged the deal in February from Vietnam, Russia, Middle East and Africa.

"Iran will be able through this storm. With God's help, Iran is always ready to face all problems, and we don't care at all about sanctions," said Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi. (Amen...)

In fact, the desire of Western countries to pressure Iran through the oil embargo is ineffective. The world still regards the embargo as a kind of devastating crisis. When you see the real effect on the world oil market, this is less influential. The historical records, during the last 20 years the Western countries have tried six times to embargo the oile of a country without an optimal outcome. Libya, for example, didn't collapse because shaken by the oil embargo during the late Muammar Gaddafi's leadership.

On the other hand, the oil consumers find it difficult to reach an agreement. Countries such as Japan and South Korea are reluctant to stay away from Iran. South Korea has a special agreement with Tehran, while Japan requires Iranian Oil for its electricity generation. Turkey, which relies on 30% of its oil needs from Iran does not want to antagonize Iran. Similarly India which is importing 328 thousand barrels of oil per day from Iran.

Although Alain Juppe said he was optimistic the embargo sanctions would make Iran to its knees -- by holding Italy and Greece which were also the consumers of Iranian oil for the embargo-- but don't forget to remember China's role in a special meeting on 23 January 2012 in Brussels. Timothy Geithner may try to woo China in imposing sanction on Iran, but China has a veto in the UN and China is the largest importer of Iranian oil. China is the major developed countries and it really requires the energy. China has a normal energy cooperation with Iran and transparent and it does not violate the UN Security Council resolutions. It makes no sense for a country to enforce its domestic rules on international law then requires other countries to comply.
*****

IRAN : "Welcome, Iran," CUBA said

Ahmadinejad concludes Latin America visit


HAVANA (AFP) - In his meeting with Cuban leader Raul Castro, on Thursday (January 12, 2012), Ahmadinejad was reportedly discussed a number of economic problems and international issues. However, details of the meeting wasn't known because the meeting was very personal. In his meeting with Castro, Ahmadinejad seemed very familiar and warm.

To his partner in Latin America, Ahmadinejad affirmed that the relations between Iran and Cuba as "brothers in arms". "The relationship between Iran and Cuba is based on solidarity among the revolutionaries," said Ahmadinejad as reported by yahoo news, Thursday (1/12).

Ahmadinejad recognized the kind of revolution in both countries was different. The Iranian revolution was driven by the disgust of local residents against the leadership of the Iranian monarchy, while the revolution in Latin America was the
citizen revolt against the capitalist system. The Iranian revolution gave birth to the Islamic Republic, and the Cuban revolution produced a communist and atheist government.
*****

The U.S. 'spy' faces execution in Iran : Amir Mirzai Hekmati




Ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim : Ha-I-just-want-to-type-these words-what-a-long-name-Ha-Mossad-le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim - MOSSAD!

Established on 1 April 1951 by the prime minister of Israel at that time,
David Ben Gurion to protect Israel which since its inception has been besieged by the enemy. Intelligence is the first line of defense, they also must learn to recognize what is happening around.

These forces began to attract the attention of the world's intelligence analysts after the Black September 1972.



The operation named "Wrath of God" was an Israeli action against Palestinian militants who involved in the massacre Israeli athletes who competed in the Olympics in Munich, Germany in 1972.

Isarel will not hesitate to make an open attack as a preventative measure when its neighbors build military forces that can threaten it.

In 1995, the Mossad sent a motorist who shot at the leader of Islamic Jihad, Fathi Shiqaqi to death, in Malta. Then, another Mossad intelligence team was able to overcome the commander of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh who smuggled the rockets into Palestine during the period 2008-2009. Mabhouh was murdered in a hotel in Dubai in 2010.

"When you fight against terror, targeting the leaders of terror organizations is a positive thing," said former deputy director of Mossad, Ilan Mizrahi to justify the agency's gait.

Associated with the bombing that killed Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, Mizrahi said it was not only Israel that was active in Iran. So far, Hillary Clinton has denied the U.S. involvement in the Tehran incident. On the other hand, Israeli military spokesman, Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai admitted that he did not know the mastermind behind the incident in Tehran. "I am definitely not shedding a tear." he said on his facebook page. (Oh... oh when Al Jazeera reported that "No tears for Jong-il in South Korea", --- see my older post --- I --- among the Korean people's grief --- sorry, without intent to laugh, I could not help but laugh while reading the headlines. But for a similar sentence above, why can't I laugh at all? )

Although there is no evidence to prove that Israel was involved in the killing of a prominent figure in Iran's nuclear program, some analysts believe that Israel is worthy of suspicion. "Israel actually has the ability and motive to do it," said Hazhir Teimourian, an expert on Iran from the study group Limehouse in London, England.

The accusation was increasingly led to Israel since the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces lieutenant-general Benny Gantz indicated the unnatural things would happen in Iran, so far this year. The statement was said by Gantz to an Iranian parliamentary committee in a few hours before the incident occurred.
*****

NORTH KOREA

To display Kim Jong-il's body permanently

The North Korean government declared February 16 as the "Shining Star" day to commemorate the birth of the great leader, the late Kim Jong-il. Pyongyang gave the conferment because for 17 years in power Kim was appraised successfully to develop the North's military power, especially the military development in the field of nuclear weapons programs and long-range missiles.

North Korea's state (which is full secrecy) also announced that Kim's body would be preserved at a palace in the capital. Kim would be paired with his father, Kim Il-sung. North Korean government would also build the statues and pictures of Kim Il-sung. Construction of the statue and the picture was assessed by the North Korea observers as an attempt to deify Kim's figure as well as to perpetuate the ruler of Kim's dynasty, Kim Jong-un.

Previously, the North Korean government also has set 15 April as the biggest memorial to celebrate the birth of Kim Il-sung. In celebration, the government held a variety of musical performances, festivals and seminars of national interest that revealed the greatness of Kim Il-sung.

Meanwhile, below 0oCelsius, more than 200 South Korean soldiers held a physical endurance exercise in anticipation of the North Korean military maneuvers. During one week in Pyeongchang --about 180 km east of Seoul-- the South Korean military personnel were also held of battle scenarios. "Our members do the exercises in order to survive in the opposite camp, and as an effort to overcome the freezing cold weather in the mountains. They practice as if they're fighting in a real battlefield," said the commander of special forces of South Korea, Choi Ik-bong. (... I wonder, ... I wonder, why do their memories know about war, war and war only?... )

South Korea now has the power of 650 thousand army personnel. While North Korea has 1.2 million military personnel stationed in border areas. But South Korea has the support of 30 thousand U.S. troops who are positioned at several locations.
*****

Jang Jin-sung - Rolex from Jong-il

While the population of North Korea was starving in the 1990s, Kim Jong-il spent millions of dollars constructing the state mausoleum, which shows how wrong his priorities were.

When I met him the second time it was quite shocking. We sat at a performance together, and he kept on crying while he watched it. I felt his tears represented his yearning to become a human being, to become an ordinary person.

In our office we had free access to South Korean books, and I began to compare the two systems in north and south and to see the shortcomings of the regime in the north.


SYRIA : Gilles Jacquier (RIP: Wednesday, January 11, 2012)

"J'ai horreur de la guerre, mais sur ces terrains, je peux faire de vraies rencontres. Le plus souvent les gens sont eux-mêmes, très sincères face à une caméra et on ne peut rester insensible à leur souffrance, racontait le journaliste dans une interview. Moi, j'aime surtout filmer les gens au plus près de l'action, avec leurs émotions et sans voyeurisme." - Gilles Jacquier

En 2003, Gilles Jacquier avait obtenu le prestigieux prix Albert-Londres, avec son collègue Bertrand Coq, pour leur couverture de la deuxième Intifada en Palestine.(Reuters/HANDOUT)


HOMS - Gilles Jacquier, grand reporter de la chaîne de télévision France 2, a été tué mercredi lors d'un reportage à Homs dans le centre de la Syrie, devenant le premier journaliste occidental à trouver la mort dans ce pays depuis le début de la révolte il y a dix mois.


Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: After the Speech, the Battle

In Paris, French Foreign Minister Alain Jupe condemned the murder of Gilles Jacquier, the first Western journalist who was killed in Syria since the unrest erupted in March last year. "We strongly condemn this cruel act," Juppe said in a statement. He added, "We demand an investigation so that the circumstances of this tragedy can be explained."

Juppe urged the Syrian government to implement its obligations to protect foreign journalists in the country, and declared the French ambassador in Damascus would soon arrive on the scene.

Homs, the Syria's third largest city and shelter as many as 800,000 people has witnessed the fiercest clashes between troops loyal to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and militia groups which was believed to consist of the Syrian army deserter.

Riots that occur every day raises the concerns that Homs, one of the most turbulent regions in Syria has been moving towards the abyss of civil war. The government said the unrest in Syria was designed by terrorists and armed gangs who received the support from abroad.

Meanwhile, a Belgian journalist, who was critically injured, taken to a local hospital along with another injured victim. Local media have not given details of other victims who were killed and injured, but said some civilians were also attacked.

Governor of Homs, Ghassan Abdul-Al said by telephone told Xinhua that the attack occurred when a bunch of local people "was giving testimony about the events in Homs told foreign journalists".

Abdul-Al said it was a cruel crime to the civilians and journalists. But he also explained that a group of foreign journalists to go on their own volition to Homs and asked to be allowed to move freely without protection from the government.

On Wednesday night, the Syrian Information Ministry expressed its regret and anguish in connection with the deadly attack. The ministry condemned the incident and claimed the attack took place in the context of the terrorist attempts to cover up the true circumstances of what happened in Syria, SANA said.

Nine citizens, among them French Journalist, martyred by Mortars of Armed Terrorist group in Homs

P H O T O S

President al-Assad: It Is No Longer Possible for the Regional and International Parties Seeking to Destabilize Syria to Forge Facts and the Events



Jan 11, 2012 :: President al-Assad: "We are Victorious against Conspiracy"
*****

CHINA : LAOTONG - Women in Perpetual Bonds

Laotong (in English: old sames) is a type of relationship within Chinese culture, which was practised in Hunan, that bonded two girls together for eternity as kindred sisters.

There were two cultural practises in Hunan in past centuries that acknowledged women's social bonds. One was Laotong, the other was Laotang.

Chinese women commonly refer to each other as "Sisters." This is a recognition of the importance of women's supportive relationships, which helped them endure hardship over their lives. Preparation for marriage might involve a Laotang relationship between several young women; the sisterhood would be dissolved upon marriage. After marriage, new sisterhoods could be formed later between married or widowed women.

For Chinese women, the Laotong or "Old-Sames" relationship was the most precious friendship bond. This was a more rare and formal relationship between women. A woman could only have one Laotong, and the bond was for life.

Often a Laotong relationship would be formed when a marriage was contracted between families who were expecting babies. This was done before the babies were born. If both children turned out female against the hopes of their families, the daughters could be brought together as Laotong. An intermediary, in some places a matchmaker, would form a Laotong relationship between two girls, similar to an arranged marriage. The Chinese astrological profiles of the girls were considered during the matching process. It was unusual for a Laotong relationship to be broken.

The relationship was made formal by the signing of a contract, which would be done much like a legal contract, using a seal. Laotong would frequently develop a language to use to communicate between them that only they could understand (a type of Nu shu), allowing them to send messages back and forth to one another.

These elements of the Laotong practise are shown in Lisa See's novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which was made into a 2011 movie directed by Wayne Wang.

With a duration of 105 minutes the film begins with a scene of a crash. Sophia (played by Gianna Jun) run over by a car while riding a bicycle in the crowd of Shanghai City, China.

She was in a coma and treated at a hospital in the city center. At the time the accident occurred, Nina (played by Li Bing Bing), her friend who was still asleep, woke up. The hospital called her, giving information about the condition of Sophia.

Anxiety and fear haunt Nina all the way to the hospital. There was a subtle bond between Nina and Sophia, felt by Nina. Do not know what.

The director then brought the audience to China in the 19th century. Two Chinese girl, Snow Flower (Gianna Jun) and Lily (Li Bing Bing) paired as true friend by their respective families in Laotong bond.

Until one day, they were separated and isolated from family. Because of the strong bonds of friendship between them, separation couldn't make the distance. Secretly, over the years, they established a communication in writing between the folds of white silk fan with a secret language.

Past life in the province of Hunan in 1929, which became the story background of Snow Flower and Lily was indeed different from the background of Shanghai City in 1997 which became the setting for Sophia and Nina.

Snow Flower and Lily lived in shades of battle, disease, and strife between the tribes, while Sophia and Nina struggled in the modern obsession with pursuing a career in abroad.

When Sophia was lying in a hospital, Nina revealed the value of their friendship through a piece of fan. The two women in modern times would not understand the story of their ancestral ties which were also bound by Laotong.

They took a valuable lesson from the past that was hidden in the folds of antique white silk fan. If not, they would risk to lose each other, forever.

Indeed, Wayne Wang takes viewers to skip the time and think deeply enough. Basically the story of Snow Flower and Lily dominate the flow in the film. Wang as if to show that Laotong which is used as the tradition of the past, in fact, still alive in modern times.

Those bonds which then makes Nina and Sophia respectively to consider their ideals and obsession in order to maintain the kinship.

In addition to Jun and Bing-Bing, there is a row of players including Australian actor Hugh Jackman who plays as Sophia's lover and Archie Kao as Nina co-workers.
*****
(Source: Wikipedia)



Lisa See, "On Writing Snow Flower"
Lisa See, "The Secrets of nu shu." Bloomsbury.
"Chinese Foot Binding." BBC Home.
Lousa Lim. "Painful Memories for China's Footbinding Survivors.
"Nu Shu: A Hidden Language of Women in China". A film by Yue-Qing Yang. Women Make Movies.
Lisa See interviewed on Conversations from Penn State.
LISA SEE
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Landmark Theatres
Women's life in China

Li Bing Bing and Gianna Jun in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Credits: Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures TM and (c) Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

Li Bing Bing and Gianna Jun in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

Li Bing Bing in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Li Bing Bing and Gianna Jun in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan


F R A N C E : The beginning of the end for the mademoiselle?

A town in Western France has banned the word "mademoiselle" - the French equivalent of "miss". The move comes as feminist groups campaign for the word to be consigned to the dustbin of history everywhere. Could its days be numbered?, By Stephanie Holmes BBC News

♫...♪.. sa façon d'être à moi ... sans jamais dire je t'aime ...



Actually, what's wrong with mademoiselle? Sounded as a polite word, although it is not pretty. Mademoiselle is derived from the damsel or young lady and usually it is used to refer to "miss". But apparently the word is considered by two groups of feminists as demeaning, because it distinguishes the married women with the unmarried.

As for men there is only one title: Monsieur or Sir. Actually, there is a title for an unmarried man in French, namely Damoiseau. But the title is long gone.

Then, Mademoiselle which is derived from the word "Virgin" is assessed only will give the connotation for the word's users. Therefore, women who wear the title Mademoiselle are considered young, naive, and probably not as serious as Madame. The impression arises in the workplace and in other formal situations.

The City Council declare this issue is the elimination of discrimination. France's neighbour --Germany-- since 1972 has been abolished Fraulein for unmarried women.

So, now every woman in France is madame, is not it? (Shh,.. He's been calling you as his Madame Blue. Please appreciate it, Mademoiselle!)
*****

G R E E K : The impact of poverty

■ Parents too poor to care for their children
By : Chloe Hadjimatheou
BBC World Service, Athens


Natasha

Unemployed and homeless, Natasha's mother said she could no longer cope
Greece's financial crisis has made some families so desperate they are giving up the most precious thing of all - their children. One morning a few weeks before Christmas a kindergarten teacher in Athens found a note about one of her four-year-old pupils. "I will not be coming to pick up Anna today because I cannot afford to look after her," it read. "Please take good care of her. Sorry. Her mother."

In the last two months Father Antonios, a young Orthodox priest who runs a youth centre for the city's poor, has found four children on his doorstep - including a baby just days old. Another charity was approached by a couple whose twin babies were in hospital being treated for malnutrition, because the mother herself was malnourished and unable to breastfeed.

Cases like this are shocking a country where family ties are strong, and failure to look after children is socially unacceptable - and it's not happening in a country ravaged by war or famine, but in their own capital city. One of the children cared for by Father Antonios is Natasha, a bright two-year-old brought to his centre by her mother a few weeks ago.

The woman said she was unemployed and homeless and needed help - but before staff could offer her support she had vanished, leaving her daughter behind. "Over the last year we have hundreds of cases of parents who want to leave their children with us - they know us and trust us," Father Antonios says. "They say they do not have any money or shelter or food for their kids, so they hope we might be able to provide them with what they need."

Requests of this kind were not unknown before the crisis - but Father Antonios has never until now come across children being simply abandoned.

One woman driven by poverty to give up her child was Maria, a single mother who lost her job and was unemployed for more than a year.

Children play at a centre in Greece caring for young people whose 
parents are unable to cope

Stefanos Alevizos - Greek psychologist
Parents who are not able to provide for their child will feel despair, loneliness and anger. They will carry an enormous weight of cultural stigma and shame. Children absorb the emotions of their parents, so the child will internalise all the feelings of their parent - particularly guilt. Often they feel they are to blame.

Children taken into care may avoid forming a bond with their carers because they are afraid it would be a betrayal of their parent, and might mean their mother or father will not return for them. When they get older, they are likely to have problems with trust and that will manifest itself in difficulties with relationships.

"Every night I cry alone at home, but what can I do? It hurt my heart, but I didn't have a choice," she says. She spent her days looking for work, sometimes well into the evening and that often meant leaving eight-year-old Anastasia alone for hours at a time. The two of them lived on food handouts from the church. Maria lost 25kg. In the end she decided to put Anastasia into foster care with a charity called SOS Children's Villages. "I can suffer through it but why should she have to?" she asks.

She now has a job in a cafe, but makes just 20 euros (£16) a day. She sees Anastasia about once a month, and hopes to take her back when her economic situation improves - but when that might be she has no idea.

SOS Children's Villages' director of social work, Stergios Sifnyos, says the charity is not accustomed to taking children from families for economic reasons and does not want to.

"The relationship between Maria and Anastasia is very close. You can say you cannot see any problem, (any reason) why this child has to be far away from her mother, "he says. "But it's very difficult for her to feel comfortable to take back the child when she is not sure she will (still) have a job the next days."

"The truth is that the biggest need any child has is to feel the love of its parents" End Quote Father Antonios - Head of Kivotos youth centre


In the past when SOS Children's Villages took children into its care, the cause was mostly drug and alcohol addiction in the family. Now the main factor is poverty. Another charity, The Smile of a Child, also focused in the past on cases involving child abuse and neglect. It too is now catering for the destitute of Athens. Its chief psychologist Stefanos Alevizos, says that when a parent puts a child into care, the child feels its entire foundations have been shaken."They experience the separation as an act of violence because they cannot understand the reasons for it," he says. But The Smile of a Child's Sofia Kouhi says the biggest tragedy, in her eyes, is that those parents who ask for their kids to be taken into care may be the ones who love their children the most.

"It is very sad to see the pain in their heart that they will leave their children, but they know it is for the best, at least for this period," she says.

Father Antonios disagrees. He believes that no matter how poor parents may be, the child is always better off with its family. "These families will be judged for abandoning their children," he says. "We can provide a child with food and shelter, but the truth is that the biggest need any child has is to feel the love of its parents."

The names of children in this report have been changed to protect their identities.
*****


■ Greek economic crisis turns tragic for children abandoned by their families. Nation shocked by stories of parents forced to give up children because of poverty – but charities warn of more cases to come -
By : Helena Smith in Athens
Guardian.co.uk


Dimitris Gasparinatos had asked Greek authorites to take four of his 10 children into care because he could not afford to feed them.

Even before Greece's economic crisis engulfed his own home, Dimitris Gasparinatos found it hard to provide for his six sons and four daughters. His wife, Christina, who was struggling to make ends meet with his salary of €960 (£800) a month and welfare aid of about €460 every two months, was unhappy and desperate.

Deep in debt, the couple owed money to the butcher, baker and grocer – the very people who had kept them going in the port of Patras, west of Athens. In their tiny flat, the family slipped increasingly into a life of squalor.

"Psychologically we were all in a bit of a mess," said Gasparinatos. "We were sleeping on mattresses on the floor, the rent hadn't been paid for months, something had to be done."

And so, with Christmas approaching, the 42-year-old took the decision to put in an official request for three of his boys and one daughter to be taken into care.

"The crisis had killed us. I am ashamed to say but it had got to the point where I couldn't even afford the €2 needed to buy bread," he told the Guardian. "We didn't want to break up the family but we did think it would be easier for them if four of my children were sent to an institution for maybe two or three years."

The next day, his 37-year-old wife visited the local town hall and asked that her children be "saved".

"She was visibly distraught," said Theoharis Massaras, the local deputy mayor and director of social works. "Requests for support have shot up. Last year we sent food to 400 families in Patras at Christmas. This year, 1,200 asked for help and they weren't what I'd call traditionally low-income people. Many had good jobs until this year when their shops and businesses closed.

"But to be asked to take children away was something new. When we visited their home and saw the situation for ourselves, the third world conditions, the poverty and filth, we couldn't believe our eyes."

In a nation as proud as Greece, where family always comes first, the plight of the Gasparinatoses quickly hit a nerve. Soon shocked reporters were knocking at their door. But testimony from charities, doctors and unions would attest that they are not alone.

As Greece prepares to endure a fifth consecutive year of recession, as the crisis extends its reach, as cuts take their toll, as poverty deepens and unemployment climbs, evidence is mounting that society is tearing at the seams.

Like the middle class, society's great connector, families are beginning to unravel under the weight of a crisis that, with no end in sight, is as much human as it is financial.

Tell-tale signs abound that in its quest to beat off bankruptcy, Greece is being hollowed out, a little more, with each passing day.

"People are going hungry, families are breaking up, instances are mounting of mothers and fathers no longer being able to bring up their own kids," said Ilias Ilioupolis, general secretary of the civil servants' union ADEDY. "Until now there has been a conspiracy of silence around the tragic effects of the austerity measures the IMF and EU are asking us to take."

From cases of newborn babies wrapped in swaddling and dumped on the doorsteps of clinics, to children being offloaded on charities and put in foster care, the nation's struggle to pay off its debts is assuming dramatic proportions, even if officials insist that the belt-tightening and structural reforms will eventually change the EU's most uncompetitive economy for the better.

Propelled by poverty, 500 families had recently asked to place children in homes run by the charity SOS Children's Villages, according to the Greek daily Kathimerini. One toddler was left at the nursery she attended with a note that read: "I will not return to get Anna. I don't have any money, I can't bring her up. Sorry. Her mother."

"Unfortunately, there's been a huge increase in demand from families in need," said Dimitris Tzouras, a social worker employed with the organisation for 19 years. "In the greater Attica region [of Athens], we're talking about a 100% increase partly because public welfare is in such disarray people have no one else to turn to."

Whereas in the past, pleas for help had come mostly from families where abuse was a problem, they are now from victims of the economic crisis.

"Parents who feel they can no longer look after children are calling in, but our policy is to do whatever we can to keep families united," added Tzouras. "The crisis has exacerbated underlying problems that in the past may just have threatened to tear families apart. It's not only the vulnerable. It's now affecting the middle class."

Few know more about the plight of children abandoned, abused and neglected in Greece than Costas Yannopoulos, who chairs the local charity the Smile of the Child. The Athens headquarters of his 16-year-old organisation is home to children who have endured life's worst excesses.

Inside the tidy, two-storey building are cots for babies who were abandoned in hospitals, found in windowless homes or taken from unfit parents.

Yannopoulos recalls the baby he discovered in a rubbish dump and the eight-month-old boy whose body had "turned to jelly" lying unloved in an overworked maternity ward.

"The crisis has made a bad situation worse," he sighed. "Alcoholism, drug abuse and psychiatric problems are on the rise and more and more children are being abandoned on the streets."

With the country's health system severely hit by cuts and the spectre of its economy becoming worse before it gets better, Yannopoulos has a plan to host children affected by "this war" in specially established "farms".

There is, he says, another Greece "of kindness and hospitality and caring about others" that all too often is overlooked.

Last week Dimitris Gasparinatos got good news. After learning of his family's circumstances, the wife of a wealthy Athenian businessman donated money for him to move to a new home with his wife and 10 children.

"This good woman has changed our lives. She has allowed us to hope again," he said. "The crisis has taken us places we never wanted to go. By the New Year, thanks to her, we will be in a new house, all together."
*****


■ Millions of Greeks living in poverty - Press TV

Millions of people in the cash-strapped Greece are now living in poverty, as a result of the government's harsh austerity measures aimed at ending its financial crisis, a new report says.

According to the Hellenic Statistical Agency's first official report in 2012, about 20 percent of Greek citizens, which is over two million people, are considered poor.

The monetary poverty line for Greece is set at the annual amount of 7,178 euros per person and 15,073 euros per household with two adults and two dependent children under the age of 14.

The poverty rate for children under 17 years was at 23 percent in 2011, which is three points higher than the poverty rate for the whole population.

Last week, a shocking report by The Guardian revealed that the Greek families are forced to give up their children and put them in foster care because of poverty.

Poverty has forced 500 Greek families to ask for placing their children in homes run by charity SOS villages, according to the leading Greek daily Kathimerini.

This comes while Greeks are forced to endure a fifth consecutive year of recession with the debt crisis deepening, cuts taking their toll and unemployment surging.

Meanwhile, officials insist that the belt-tightening and structural reforms under way will eventually change the EU's most uncompetitive economy for the better.

The Greek debt crisis has also sparked several instances of social unrest, from peaceful strikes to violent and bloody nationwide protests against austerity measures.

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have provided Athens with two rescue packages in return for specific austerity measures, which include cutting public sector salaries and pensions, increasing taxes, and overhauling the pension system.
*****
PG/JR/HGH

■ "Greeks suicide rate at record high" - Press TV

Greek Ministry of Citizen Protection says that Suicides and attempted suicides in the country have seen a sharp rise of 22.5 percent since 2009, Press TV reported.

The report, which was presented to the parliament on Wednesday by Minister Christos Papoutsis, showed a total of 1,727 recorded suicide death and attempted suicide incidents nationwide since the Greek recession began in 2009.

According to the report, the number of suicides and attempted suicides nationwide jumped from 507 in 2009 to 622 in 2010, marking a 22.5 percent increase, and to 598 in the last year up to until December 10th.

The ministry report also urges the relevant welfare authorities to look into the issue as a matter of emergency, underlining the phenomenon as a major social hurdle, a Press TV correspondent in Athens reported.

The suicide phenomenon in Greece was first mentioned in parliament last summer, when New Democracy MP Prokopis Pavlopoulos asked both the ministry and local authorities to provide the relevant information.

Prior to the Greek economic downturn which began in 2008, suicide ratesin Greece were among the lowest in the European Union, at only 2.8 per 100.00 denizens.

This comes while Greeks are forced to endure a fifth consecutive year of recession with the debt crisis deepening, cuts taking their toll and unemployment surging.

Meanwhile, officials insist that the belt-tightening and structural reforms under way will eventually change the EU's most uncompetitive economy for the better.
*****
PG/JR

■ Greek Crisis Has Pharmacists Pleading for Aspirin as Drug Supply Dries Up
By Naomi Kresge - BLOOMBERG


For patients and pharmacists in financially stricken Greece, even finding aspirin has turned into a headache.

Mina Mavrou, who runs a pharmacy in a middle-class Athens suburb, spends hours each day pleading with drugmakers, wholesalers and colleagues to hunt down medicines for clients. Life-saving drugs such as Sanofi (SAN)’s blood-thinner Clexane and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s asthma inhaler Flixotide often appear as lines of crimson data on pharmacists’ computer screens, meaning the products aren’t in stock or that pharmacists can’t order as many units as they need.

"When we see red, we want to cry," Mavrou said. "The situation is worsening day by day."

The 12,000 pharmacies that dot almost every street corner in Greek cities are the damaged capillaries of a complex system for getting treatment to patients. The Panhellenic Association of Pharmacists reports shortages of almost half the country’s 500 most-used medicines. Even when drugs are available, pharmacists often must foot the bill up front, or patients simply do without.

The financial crisis is brewing a "Greek tragedy" of slowing access to medical care and worsening outcomes for patients, Martin McKee, a professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, wrote in an October article in The Lancet.

The Greek Ministry of Health didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.

'Many Difficulties'
"It would be unrealistic to deny that there are many difficulties regarding all public services due to the financial crisis," Nicolaos Polyzos, secretary general of the Ministry of Health, wrote in a response to McKee's article posted on the ministry's website. "However, this cannot justify characterizing the current picture of (the) health sector in Greece as a 'tragedy.'"

The reasons for the shortages are complex. One major cause is the Greek government, which sets prices for medicines. As part of an effort to cut its own costs, Greece has mandated lower drug prices in the past year. That has fed a secondary market, drug manufacturers contend, as wholesalers sell their shipments outside the country at higher prices than they can get within Greece.

Strained government finances only make matters worse. Wholesalers and pharmacists say the system suffers from a lack of liquidity, as public insurers delay payments to pharmacies, which in turn can’t pay suppliers on time.

"Wholesalers simply do not have the money anymore to play bank to the pharmacies," Heinz Kobelt, secretary general of the European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies, said in a telephone interview.


330 Million Euros
Public insurers owe pharmacists some 330 million euros ($422.1 million) for drugs bought since April, Dimitris Karageorgiou, vice-chairman of the pharmacists’ association, said in an interview last month. Payment can take three months to up to a year, pharmacists said. Some are turning to patients to pay up front.

"They're saying you pay me now, and then you'll get the money from your social security fund," said Ioannis Theodorakis, chairman of the Association of Persons with Multiple Sclerosis.

Theodorakis said he already knows a few patients who can’t afford to pay and aren't on treatment. If non-payment by public insurers continues, more will discontinue treatment, he said in an interview in his office in Athens, a few steps from where protesters lob Molotov cocktails and pelt police with rocks at Syntagma Square.


'Dysfunctional' System
"The whole system is dysfunctional," said Aggeliki Matsouki, who opened her first pharmacy in Athens in 1981.

Chain-smoking in her tiny back office, Matsouki described calling other pharmacies to track down London-based Glaxo's oral herpes drug Famvir. "If I can't find a prescription drug, I try to borrow it from colleagues. We exchange medicines."

Austerity measures imposed to address the financial crisis may paradoxically be making matters worse. Greek wholesalers now have more incentive than ever to sell drugs outside the country after Greece implemented a law last year further reducing prices. The law sets prices of medicines according to the average of the three lowest charges in 22 European Union countries, part of an effort to trim a health bill that in 2010 totaled more than 13 billion euros, or about 5 percent of GDP.


Parallel Trading
Parallel imports peaked in 2004, then flattened out about two years ago once drugmakers imposed quotas of the maximum amount of medicines they think the Greek market will need, said Kobelt, whose Brussels-based association represents companies engaged in the trade. Still, if pharmacies can't pay, it makes economic sense to ship the drugs back out again rather than let them languish on wholesalers' shelves, he said.

Kobelt said he's seen boxes of Bayer AG (BAYN)'s Aspirin in Poland that originated in Greece, suggesting that the medicine fetches higher prices in eastern Europe.

"Even Polish people pay more than Greeks for Aspirin," he said. "That is the recipe for parallel trade, I'm sorry to say."

Novo Nordisk A/S (NOVOB), based in Bagsvaerd, Denmark, is a case in point.

"We are competing with our own products," said Mike Rulis, a spokesman for the company.

Novo stopped selling some of its higher-priced insulins in Greece for about a month in 2010 after the government cut prices by about 25 percent. The drugmaker now ships in the same volume as before the cuts, yet pharmacists are running short of insulin, Rulis said in a telephone interview.


Special Deliveries
"There are cases where pharmacies will call our Greek affiliate and say, 'We are out of stock, can you help us,'" he said. "Then we will call the wholesaler to make a special delivery."

Reimbursement fraud compounds the drain on the country’s health resources, Richard Bergstrom, director-general of European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, said in an interview. Drugs shipped elsewhere yet submitted for reimbursement to public insurers as if they had been prescribed to patients cost Greece more than 500 million euros a year, Bergstrom said, citing figures he said he got from the Ministry of Health.

In a later e-mail, Bergstrom said he had personally seen packs of drugs with Greek reimbursement stickers on the market outside of Greece, suggesting that exporters were reimbursed and able to ship the packs abroad.

"If the pack is exported, the exporter is obliged to 'cancel' the code, a bar code, by using a black pen," Bergstrom wrote. "But this is not monitored."


Up-Front Payment
Not all pharmacists can afford to pay up-front for costly drugs in the hope of being reimbursed by insurers.

An invoice provided to Bloomberg News shows Roche Holding AG (ROG) requesting a 926-euro payment in advance from a pharmacy for NeoRecormon, a medicine used to treat anemia in chemotherapy and chronic kidney disease patients.

The Swiss drugmaker switched to a payment-on-delivery policy for hospitals with a history of nonpayment last year after accepting 400 million Swiss francs ($426.7 million) in Greek government bonds for unpaid hospital debts. The Greek government announced in December 2010 it would issue more than 5 billion euros of non-interest paying bonds to hospital suppliers for unpaid bills from 2007 to 2009.

Roche extends a credit to pharmacies and in some cases has extended credit limits to ensure patients can get drugs, Daniel Grotzky, a company spokesman, said in a telephone interview. "This might be a pharmacy which has used up its credit line," he said.


Difficult Decisions
A year ago, the Health Ministry advised MS patients to buy medicine through state hospitals, Theodorakis said. Those hospitals often don't have enough drugs, so patients go to pharmacies instead, he said.

Theodorakis stopped taking Merck KGaA (MRK's Rebif in 2006 because he wasn't satisfied the drug's benefits outweighed its side effects in his particular case. The frustrating process of obtaining medicine contributed to his decision not to start taking another drug, said Theodorakis, who uses a wheelchair and has an assistant to type his e-mails.

"It's a difficult decision to make because you can't play dice with your health," Theodorakis said.
*****

S N O W


Snow video, please be patient. I'll give a description of you, later. Maybe when you are melting and this season has changed. Bring me the seeds of flowers...mmm maybe it is including the seeds of the love's flowers between us --- he, and... he and I, he and he and ... haiyaaa... --- See? I'm the most stupid woman in this world when I have to choose one word in part of this sentence,... always ... yeah always stupid, so I just let it remain blank... and I --- that will bloom after your season. After that, all will be clear. Click! Button: Power Off.

U.S.A - AFGHANISTAN : Marine - Taliban

It is not known when and where this video was taken. However it was noted that the soldiers were members of a sniper team in the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The soldiers wore full combat devices, with grenades and rifle in hand.

Marines urinating on Taliban" video scandal sparks outrage





The discrepancy is, who is recording this video? Why is the video disseminated in the news? When they urinate, do not they know that their actions are being recorded? Hmmm ...is this footage using a hidden camera or something? For what purpose the video is distributed? Oh it was clear, to discredit the image and character of the American nation. Nahh.
*****


Taliban say Marine tape won't hurt Afghanistan talks

RUSIA : VLADIMIR PUTIN

Putin 'too busy' for presidential election debates

A student from from St Andrews University takes part in a foam fight as part of the traditional Raisin Monday celebrations in St Andrews, Scotland November 22, 2010. The tradition dates back to the early days of the university when new students would give seniors a pound of raisins in gratitude for their help in adapting to university life, in exchange for a receipt written in Latin. Failure to produce such a receipt could result in a dousing in the local fountain. Nowadays the raisins have been replaced with a bottle of wine and the dousing with foam. (David Moir)


Haiya, only to my close friend (female), I dare to say that Vladimir Putin is handsome. (ahem ahem... In every headline with the name of Vladimir Putin, ... every time I was staring at his face .... his lip line .... oh, ... They said I was exactly like a teenager who was in love. Flirty! ehehheee ....)

Vladimir Varfolomeyev said Vladmir Putin was a coward, just because Putin didn't join the Russian presidential election debate. Ah, it's up to him! For what we are debating if it only gives an increase in the popularity of our political rivals? The important thing is Putin has promised to facilitate dialogue between the Russian presidential candidate and the residents in certain issues.

By the way, I was reminded of a story that I read (I kinda forgot the name of the author and title of the book)... more or less like this,...
Once upon a time in China once there lived a highly respected judge because of his nature wise, an honest heart and his firm stance. One day, two people came to the Judge. They had a big fight and even almost to blows. Both up arguing about the count of 3×7.

One said the result was 21, the other one insisted the result was 37. It turned out the Judge sentenced the whip 10X for the person who answered 21. Spontaneous, the condemned men protested the sentence. The Judge replied, "This punishment is not for the result of your calculation, but for your ignorance because you want to argue with stupid one who does not know that 3X7 is 21!".

Wisdom of this story is that if we are busy arguing over something useless, then we are also as wrong or even more wrong than those who starts the debate, because we are consciously wasting time and energy for unnecessary things.
*****

MARTIN LUTHER KING


"When you are right you can't be too radical. When you are wrong, you can't be too conservative"
Martin Luther King, Jr



The King Philosophy


TRIPLE EVILS
The Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. To work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the "Six Principles of Nonviolence" and use the Kingian model for social action outlined in the "Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change."

Some contemporary examples of the Triple Evils are listed next to each item:

Poverty – unemployment, homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality, slums…

"There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it. The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty. The well off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for 'the least of these."

Racism – prejudice, apartheid, ethnic conflict, anti-Semitism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, ageism, discrimination against disabled groups, stereotypes.

"Racism is a philosophy based on a contempt for life. It is the arrogant assertion that one race is the center of value and object of devotion, before which other races must kneel in submission. It is the absurd dogma that one race is responsible for all the progress of history and alone can assure the progress of the future. Racism is total estrangement. It separates not only bodies, but minds and spirits. Inevitably it descends to inflicting spiritual and physical homicide upon the out-group."

Militarism – war, imperialism, domestic violence, rape, terrorism, human trafficking, media violence, drugs, child abuse, violent crime.

"A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war- 'This way of settling differences is not just.' This way of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Source: "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Boston: Beacon Press, 1967.

SIX PRINCIPLES OF NONVIOLENCE
Fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence described in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom. The six principles include:

1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is a positive force confronting the forces of injustice, and utilizes the righteous indignation and the spiritual, emotional and intellectual capabilities of people as the vital force for change and reconciliation.
2. The Beloved Community is the framework for the future. The nonviolent concept is an overall effort to achieve a reconciled world by raising the level of relationships among people to a height where justice prevails and persons attain their full human potential.
3. Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil. The nonviolent approach helps one analyze the fundamental conditions, policies and practices of the conflict rather than reacting to one’s opponents or their personalities.
4. Accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve the goal. Self-chosen suffering is redemptive and helps the movement grow in a spiritual as well as a humanitarian dimension. The moral authority of voluntary suffering for a goal communicates the concern to one’s own friends and community as well as to the opponent.
5. Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. The nonviolent attitude permeates all aspects of the campaign. It provides mirror type reflection of the reality of the condition to one’s opponent and the community at large. Specific activities must be designed to help maintain a high level of spirit and morale during a nonviolent campaign.
6. The universe is on the side of justice. Truth is universal and human society and each human being is oriented to the just sense of order of the universe. The fundamental values in all of the world’s great religious include the concept that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice. For the nonviolent practitioner, nonviolence introduces a new moral context in which nonviolence is both the means and the end.

SIX STEPS OF NONVIOLENT SOCIAL CHANGE
A sequential process of nonviolent conflict-resolution and social change based on Dr. King’s teachings. The Six Steps of Nonviolence developed by The King Center include:

1. Information Gathering – The way you determine the facts, the optiosn for change, and the timing of pressure for raising the issue is a collective process.
2. Education – The process for developing articulate leaders, who are knowledgeable about the issues. It is directed toward the community through all forms of media about the real issues and human consequences of an unjust situation.
3. Personal Commitment – Means looking at your internal and external involvement in the nonviolent campaign and preparing yourself for long-term as well as short-term action.
4. Negotiation – Is the art of bringing together your views and those of your opponent to arrive at a just conclusion or clarify the unresolved issues, at which point, the conflict is formalized.
5. Direct Action – Occurs when negotiations have broken down or failed to produce a just response to the contested issues and conditions.
6. Reconciliation – Is the mandatory closing step of a campaign, when the opponents and proponents celebrate the victory and provide joint leadership to implement change.

We often view the Six Steps as a phases or cycles of a campaign rather than steps because each of them embodies a cluster or series of activities related to each of the other five elements.

THE BELOVED COMMUNITY
"The Beloved Community" is a term that was first coined in the early days of the 20th Century by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce, who founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation. However, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, who popularized the term and invested it with a deeper meaning which has captured the imagination of people of goodwill all over the world.

For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.

Dr. King's Beloved Community was not devoid of interpersonal, group or international conflict. Instead he recognized that conflict was an inevitable part of human experience. But he believed that conflicts could be resolved peacefully and adversaries could be reconciled through a mutual, determined commitment to nonviolence. No conflict, he believed, need erupt in violence. And all conflicts in The Beloved Community should end with reconciliation of adversaries cooperating together in a spirit of friendship and goodwill.

As early as 1956, Dr. King spoke of The Beloved Community as the end goal of nonviolent boycotts. As he said in a speech at a victory rally following the announcement of a favorable U.S. Supreme Court Decision desegregating the seats on Montgomery's busses, "the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men."

An ardent student of the teachings of Mohandas K. Gandhi, Dr. King was much impressed with the Mahatma’s befriending of his adversaries, most of whom professed profound admiration for Gandhi's courage and intellect. Dr. King believed that the age-old tradition of hating one’s opponents was not only immoral, but bad strategy which perpetuated the cycle of revenge and retaliation. Only nonviolence, he believed, had the power to break the cycle of retributive violence and create lasting peace through reconciliation.

In a 1957 speech, Birth of A New Nation, Dr. King said, "The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community. The aftermath of nonviolence is redemption. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation. The aftermath of violence is emptiness and bitterness." A year later, in his first book Stride Toward Freedom, Dr. King reiterated the importance of nonviolence in attaining The Beloved Community. In other words, our ultimate goal is integration, which is genuine inter-group and inter-personal living. Only through nonviolence can this goal be attained, for the aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of the Beloved Community.

In his 1959 Sermon on Gandhi, Dr. King elaborated on the after-effects of choosing nonviolence over violence: "The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, so that when the battle’s over, a new relationship comes into being between the oppressed and the oppressor." In the same sermon, he contrasted violent versus nonviolent resistance to oppression. "The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”

The core value of the quest for Dr. King’s Beloved Community was agape love. Dr. King distinguished between three kinds of love: eros, "a sort of aesthetic or romantic love"; philia, "affection between friends" and agape, which he described as "understanding, redeeming goodwill for all," an "overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless and creative", "the love of God operating in the human heart." He said that "Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people. It begins by loving others for their sakes" and "makes no distinction between a friend and enemy; it is directed toward both…Agape is love seeking to preserve and create community."

In his 1963 sermon, Loving Your Enemies, published in his book, Strength to Love, Dr. King addressed the role of unconditional love in struggling for the beloved Community. "With every ounce of our energy we must continue to rid this nation of the incubus of segregation. But we shall not in the process relinquish our privilege and our obligation to love. While abhorring segregation, we shall love the segregationist. This is the only way to create the beloved community."

One expression of agape love in Dr. King's Beloved Community is justice, not for any one oppressed group, but for all people. As Dr. King often said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." He felt that justice could not be parceled out to individuals or groups, but was the birthright of every human being in the Beloved Community. I have fought too long hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concerns," he said. "Justice is indivisible."

In a July 13, 1966 article in Christian Century Magazine, Dr. King affirmed the ultimate goal inherent in the quest for the Beloved Community: "I do not think of political power as an end. Neither do I think of economic power as an end. They are ingredients in the objective that we seek in life. And I think that end or that objective is a truly brotherly society, the creation of the beloved community"

In keeping with Dr. King's teachings, The King Center embraces the conviction that the Beloved Community can be achieved through an unshakable commitment to nonviolence. We urge you to study Dr. King’s six principles and six steps of nonviolence, and make them a way life in your personal relationships, as well as a method for resolving social, economic and political conflicts, reconciling adversaries and advancing social change in your community, nation and world.
*****
(SOURCE : The King Center)

Martin Luther King memorial inscription 'to change'

Correcting the Martin Luther King memorial mistake



Speeches, photos, quotes, biography of Martin Luther King Jr.

I HAVE A DREAM

"Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness… We all have the drum major instinct."
Excerpt from The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Drum Major Instinct" sermon, given on February 4, 1968.

EAST AFRICA : U G A N D A

Bitter Root
Two former Lord's Resistance Army commanders seek traditional tribal justice in order to come to terms with their past.



Lord Resistance Army (LRA) rebel of Uganda killed at least 321 civilians in the four-day assault that was "well planned" to several villages in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo. According to international Human Rights Watch (March 28, 2010) said there were 250 other people, including at least 80 children were kidnapped in the attack that was reported previously by Ugandan LRA from the date of December 14 to 17 in the Makombo's remote areas in the district of Haut Uele.

A Catholic priest Dieudonne Abakuba had spoken before the report was released, which essentially confirmed that 30 members of the LRA rebels attacked a dozen villages in the district of Haut Uele, in Orientale Province. "They kill at least 300 people. They also kidnap between 200-400 other people before it disappeared," he told AFP.

"During the attack which well planned by the LRA, killing at least 321 civilians and kidnapping another 250 people, including at least 80 children, "said the HRW report as thick as 67 pages, entitled" Traces of Death: LRA massacre in Northeast Congo". Most of those killed were adult males, who by the LRA rebels they were first tied and then slashed to death with machetes, axes or heavy wooden stick.

"The LRA rebels bound some of the victims to trees before they were beheaded with an ax," said the report written after a mission visited the area on last February 2010. "Between 25 to 40 insurgents had been walking along the 100 kilometers in their operations that aimto kill, kidnap and rob." HRW said.

"Makombo massacre is one of the worst murders ever committed by the LRA, in their bloody history of the last 23 years, and it has not been reported for several months," said Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior researcher at HRW. "For four days the big rage was shown that the LRA remained a serious threat to the civilian population, and it was not very strenuous as recognized by the government of Uganda and Congo."



The LRA is led by Joseph Kony, who has long pursued along with two other leaders by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. LRA began to take up arms in 1988 in northern Uganda and was famous for its brutality. Since 2005, under the pressure from the armed forces of Uganda, the vandals were back from their bases in Uganda and moved to the area of ​​the remote northeastern Congo. In 2009, their strength was about 100 people, according to the UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo.
*****


T R A V E L : Mark Fonseca Rendeiro

The battle for Lisbon's best pastry In Portugal Food & Drink
13 January 2012 | By Karina Martinez-Carter


Portugal image

Ponte entre a Régua e Lamego - Portugal

The bravery of a Portuguese war hero resonates today
The neglected house of Aristides de Sousa Mendes stands as a reminder that we must not forget his sacrifice in saving thousands from the Nazis.

fonseca



Article history

sousa
The decaying Sousa Mendes mansion
Photograph: Mark Fonseca Rendeiro
(Now who else, Cisca? ...)






(Don't pretend you're looking for travel information in Portuguese if you only intend to look for him, Cisca!...)

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CZ

"Thank you for your perception! I like your romantic side, even if I do not always comment and I'm glad that you're in my circle of friends."
(Courtesies by: Wolfgang A. Gerhardt)

Wolfgang A.Gerhardt : May be you like this Sunday collage

Cisca Zarmansyah : Before today, there never was a person doing this to me. You create a simple matter to look special. This is a special thing for me.

Cisca Zarmansyah : Thank you. I love it. I love you, my friend.

CieL- FreYa Ceastle : Hmm, he's so nice...















"I am me.
In all the world,
there is no one else exactly like me.
Everything that comes out of me
is authentically mine,
because I alone chose it --
I own everything about me:
my body,
my feelings,
my mouth,
my voice,
all my actions,
whether they be to others or myself.
I own my fantasies,
my dreams,
my hopes,
my fears.
I own my triumphs and successes,
all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me,
I can become intimately acquainted with me.
By so doing,
I can love me
and be friendly with all my parts.
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know
-- but as long as I am friendly
and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully
look for solutions
to the puzzles and ways
to find out more about me.
However I look and sound,
whatever I say and do,
and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time
is authentically me.
If later some parts of how I looked,
sounded,
thought,
and felt
turn out to be unfitting,
I can discard that which is unfitting,
keep the rest,
and invent something new
for that which I discarded.
I can see,
hear,
feel,
think,
say, and do.
I have the tools to survive,
to be close to others,
to be productive,
and to make sense
and order out of the world of people
and things outside of me.
I own me,
and therefore,
I can engineer me.
I am me,
and I am okay."

VIRGINIA SATIR
(American Phychologist and Educator, 1916-1988)